Seneca County issues blue green algae warning

Seneca County Health Department Officials have visually identified the presence of suspected blue-green algae blooms in waters of Van Cleef Lake and in the Cayuga/Seneca Canal at Demont’s; both located in the Town of Seneca Falls. These potential new blooms join a previously identified blue-green algae bloom on Seneca Lake at Kime Beach in the Town of Fayette. Blue-green algae blooms can spread to other locations by wind and currents. Blue green algae bloom off Hyatt Road photographed on 9/3/15Blue-green algae naturally occur in bodies of water in low numbers, however during periods of prolonged hot weather algae can become more abundant and form scum in warm shallow areas. Any time surface water is discolored or has surface scums from algae; the presence of blue-green algae should be suspected. Blue-green algae can produce toxins, thus all blooms should be considered potentially dangerous and contact or consumption of the water should be avoided. Exposure to blue-green algae and its toxins can cause adverse health effects in people and animals if water with dense blooms comes into contact with skin, is swallowed or inhaled through airborne droplets. Livestock and pets have been sickened and in some cases, have died after consuming large amounts of contaminated water or from licking their fur. To Protect People and Pets from Exposure to Blue-Green Algae Blooms the following precautions are recommended:1. People and pets should not swim in water that is discolored or has surface scum. If contact occurs, wash with soap and water or rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove algae. 2. Avoid bathing, showering, or washing dishes in untreated water that is experiencing an algae bloom. 3. Do not let pets drink water experiencing blue-green algae blooms. Ingesting large amounts of water contaminated with blue-green algae has resulted in liver and nervous system damage in people, pets, and livestock. 4. Symptoms of blue-green algae exposure may include allergic reactions or irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat. To report a suspected blue-green algae bloom, to report symptoms or for more information contact the Seneca County Health Department at (315) 539-1945 or go to click here.

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